By David Madden

WASHINGTON, N.J. (CBS) — The recovery from Hurricane Sandy has renewed a debate along the South Jersey shore: the issue of beach tags.

Now, one New Jersey legislator is pushing to get rid of them entirely.

State senator Michael Doherty (R-Somerset) has been a longtime opponent of beach access fees, believing that some towns use them to restrict their beaches for the use of their homeowners, fulltime and seasonal.

doherty michael njsen thumb NJ Lawmaker Says Hurricane Sandy Rebuild Should Mean The End of Beach Tags

(NJ state sen. Michael Doherty. Photo provided)

Doherty (right) sees Sandy as an opportunity to get rid of the fees for good.

“Since the residents of New Jersey are going to be asked to invest a lot into the restoration of these shore communities, I think once we restore these communities we should have free beach access for all the people,” he tells KYW Newsradio.

Doherty suggests that free beaches would boost tourism, and the money that now goes into a government coffer could easily wind up spent improving the local economy.

He says New Jersey is the exception rather than the rule when it comes to beach fees in America — and that needs to change.

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